Hi guys! Today I’m posting my first ever post, about my summercamp in the West Coast. Ths summer, I’ve been to America with teenagers and we traveled 2200 miles in a van. I’m writing this post to tell you about this fabulous experience because I know this kind of trip is very popular ! For the ones who can’t live without taking a 25 minutes shower everyday or sleeping in a warm bed, who are not to keen of animals and all, this roadtrip is not for you, but you can still read :p It’s a bit long I think but if you’re interested in this sort of trip, you may like it. Enjoy !
Days 1 to 4:
We first arrived to SF, where we slept for the night. The day after we took the road all day to Los Angeles and trust me, I enjoyed these 8 hours more than I thought I would: we drove through the desert and I was thrilled because the landscapes reminded me of Breaking Bad ! Must seem stupid to you but for a french guy, seeing landscapes like the desert is totally different from what we have in France ! 😉
We arrived in L.A. the evening and settled in our camping near Calabasas. This US trip really started the next day, when we went to the 6 Flags Magic Mountains Park. Being a huge fan of roller-coasters, let me tell you that this park was like heaven to me! If you go to this park, you HAVE TO try the Superman ride, the Green Lantern one (which was the scariest to me) and the Tatsu, which shows a breathtaking view of L.A.
We obviously went to Santa Monica & Venice Beach! I promise you it felt like in the movies (I know that’s a very cliché thing to say but trust me that’s how it felt!). Venice is HUGE, I mean it: the beach is long, there’s enough room on the sand for whoever wants to sunbath, you can also watch the skaters (and wish you were as cool as them) do their tricks in the well-known skatepark or just walk and shop in the small shops where you can definitely find every souvenir you want: t-shirt, sunglasses, skateboards, surfboards, lighter, shoes and pretty cool bongs (come on, you know what I’m talking about). There are also amazing street performers that you can watch and believe me, these guys are real entertainers! Trust me you can spend a whole day in Venice without get bored!
We went to Beverly Hills, more precisely in Rodeo Drive. Let me tell you that we didn’t exactly fit-in !!! We went in all the most luxurious shops of the street and we had a lot of fun: each time we entered a shop, the guards and the employees gave us the “lol you’re not rich” look and kept an eyes on us, certainly afraid to see us steal a 2000$ purse or something. Sometimes we stayed in the same shop during 20 minutes because we were seated on the luxurious sofas that were a lot more comfortable than our camping benches. If you go to the Chanel Shop, take the time to go to the toilets, they’re wider than my room ! More seriously, rodeo drive may seem like a very depressing place that reminds you you’re not loaded, but that a complete different world that you have to see! After that, we drove in the streets of Beverly Hills, eyes glued to the windows to admire the 20millions$ mansions that seemed to be worth more than our entire existence! We then headed to Hollywood Boulevard, the most emblematic place of the city. Trust me you have to see this at least once in your lifetime: the sidewalks are crowded but the atmosphere is unique. You can take a photo with Elvis or Michael every 30 seconds and try to find your idols on the big red stars you walk on. Far away we could see the Hollywood letters and honestly the fact of seeing them for real instead of on the web is pretty dope!
Days 5 to 7 :
We left the city of angels to go to the Grand Canyon. It took us two days so we slept one night in Needles, a very very very small town crossed by the Colorado, and the bosses of the motel, a couple in their 60s, let us jet-skiing on the river freely, which was the highlight of the long day we had spent. The night was not the best we had though, there were mosquitoes everywhere and it was too hot… but that was a part of the journey I guess. After the second day on the road, we FINALLY arrived in the Grand Canyon! We settled in a camping next to the national park that was lost in the woods, an area where you could find 15 kinds of snakes and lots of wapitis, a kind of big deer. There weren’t any shower and the toilets were DRY toilets… Let me tell you that we felt like Indiana Jones for the first (and not the last!) time of the journey ! After spending the night in this lost camping, we went hiking in the Grand Canyon: that was AMAZING. The first time we saw the orange-tinted rocs was a moment I can’t even describe… Let’s say that you actually feel incredibly small compared to that natural piece of art. The hike was hard, the sun was heavy and all, but that was one of the best moments of the trip. Beware of the squirrels though, they have rabies…
Days 8 to 10 :
The next three days were spent at the Lake Powell: this is a huge lake in the middle of the desert, and, once again, a natural piece of art. We stayed in a camping 5 minutes away from the beach (yes, the lake is so huge that there are beaches). During those three days, we did lots of aquatic activities, like towed buoy (I think this is the term in English), boating and swimming. The water is actually quite warm and the landscape that surrounds the lake is breathtaking. The only “negative” thing I wanna tell you is quite important: if you’re afraid of rattlesnakes, scorpions and tarantulas, then sleep in a camping-car, because the area is full of these animals! One night we were eating on a picnic table, we couldn’t see anything. A friend took his headlamp and guess what we saw…. A freaking tarantula just inches from our feet! Of course some girls totally freaked out and started standing on the table, while most of us tried to make it go away without getting bitten (we were told that they were venomous). After that, we checked during two hours our tents to make sure we could sleep in peace! Even if at that moment we were pissed off, when I think about it now I can’t help but laugh out loud because we were actually quite ridiculous, jumping each time we saw a shadow and all! Remember that you also should go to the Horseshoe, probably the most famous place of the lake (picture below)
Day 11 :
After three days at the Lake Powell, we went to Hatch, Utah, certainly the smallest city of the country, which is near Bryce Canyon. The camping was, in my opinion, the best we had slept in yet, because we weren’t too hot or too cold. Bryce Canyon is an incredibly beautiful place, less famous than the Grand Canyon but as breathtaking! The rocks are red and orange and seem to be sculpted in lots of different sized points. We didn’t do a 2 hours hike in the canyon like we did in Arizona but we stopped at different places in the canyon to admire the beautiful landscape.
Days 12 to 14 :
We left Utah to go back to Colorado, because the next step was…. VEGAS BABY! We were all looking forward to going to this city. Personally I was excited because I had seen The Hangover, and being crazy about partying, Vegas seemed the perfect spot to have a blast. And God knows how I enjoyed it there! Las Vegas was my favorite part of the trip, for many reasons. First, it’s fucking impressive, like, really REALLY impressive. The casinos/hotels are huge, the decorations indoor and outdoor are incredible (look at photos of the Bellagio or the Luxor and you’ll understand!). But what really stroke me is that the whole city is like a huge party: people are drinking everywhere (we were underage so of course we didn’t drink alcohol), dancing, there is music everywhere, and there’s even a street where you can do some zip line above people. You absolutely must try the Oxygen Bars: they are bars where you can inhale “oxygen” of different sorts, each sort having a different effect on you. I tried with my friend the hilarious effect and, I swear I’m not lying, we laughed during two hours for no reasons! That was pretty cool lmao ! If you go to Vegas, then go to the outlets too: sincerely, I bought a Hilfiger hoodie for 40$ instead of 110$ !!! We had the luck for our last night in the city to spend one hour in a big limousine where we partied while driving around the Strip. If I had one piece of advice to give you, that would probably be “Go to fucking Vegas and party like there’s no tomorrow”. Unfortunately we were all 16 or 17 so we didn’t party like we do in France (which means drinking ;p) but we enjoyed every second we spent in L.V. and left the city with incredible memories.
Day 15 :
The last week was divided in three steps. First, we spend a day and a night in Death Valley. That was one of the most memorable moment of the journey ! The temperature was 50 degrees (don’t know how much Fahrenheit it represents) and we were all wishing one thing: the rain! God didn’t heighten our prayers, and we had to spend the whole day sweating… gross, I know. We slept in the middle of nowhere just a couple miles away from the valley, and guess what… we met again with the tarantulas and the rattlesnakes! That was the worst night of the trip. We could hear the snakes next to our tents and the temperature, 38 degrees, didn’t help us. But like I told you earlier, now that I think about it I’m glad I got to live this situation, because that’s something that can’t really happen to us in our big cities.
Day 16 :
After this terrible night we went to Yosemite. I was a bit disappointed because the forest with the sequoias is closed until 2017 but we got to see the highest cliff of the world, Half-Dome, and lots of caves. We even swam in a little stream in the middle of the forest, which was cool.
Days 17 to 19 :
We then went to the last place of the trip, San Francisco. This city is stunning (I don’t know if this adjective is correct for a city but idc). The piers are fantastic spots for the tourists, where we ate tons of hamburgers: yay, I forgot to tell you, but most of the time our meals were sandwiches bought at Walmart so real hamburgers were like orgasms for us :’D We took the cable cars: you have to try at least once these wooden cars that can take you wherever you want in the city. We walked during a whole afternoon in the streets of SF, and they are simply beautiful. The Victorian-styles houses really bring a lot of charm to the city. The only thing that is annoying in SF is the Fog. At 7p.m. the bay totally disappears and the Golden Gate becomes nearly invisible. However, San Francisco is a place where the atmosphere is really cool and relaxed, which really contrasts with L.A.
We spent our last night in a bowling in the suburb of SF. And the day after, it was time for us to leave America…
To conclude that long resume of the trip, let me tell you that this experience was one of the best of my life, if not the best. Sure we were happy to go back to France and extremely tired but we left the US with memories that only make us want to go back to California one day. So I only have one thing to tell you: if one day you have the opportunity to travel there, do it, you’ll spend the best holidays of your life.
That’s the end of the post, sorry if you found it too long, but resuming three weeks of a trip like this one is not that simple! If you enjoyed it, please share, like or talk about the blog, it would mean the world to me guys ! Don’t hesitate to comment and ask questions if you have some. Tanks for reading the whole post!
Take care !